SV: Annan stands by UN pointsman in Iraq

Anders Püschel ahp at
Sun Nov 7 10:07:41 MST 1999

What exactly has von Sponeck said? I'm afraid I've missed that.

Anders Püschel
ahp at

-----Ursprungligt meddelande-----
Från: Ulhas Joglekar <ulhasj at>
Till: marxism at <marxism at>
Datum: den 7 november 1999 15:08
Ämne: Annan stands by UN pointsman in Iraq

>7 November 1999 : Annan stands by UN pointsman in Iraq
>By Evelyn Leopold
>UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has reaffirmed that his top
>relief official in Baghdad, Hans Von Sponeck, would stay in his post despite
>US and British opposition.
>``Mr Von Sponeck will be going back to Baghdad. It was my decision to
>make,'' UN spokesman Fred Eckhard quoted Annan as saying Friday after a
>meeting with American and British envoys.
>Ambassadors Jeremy Greenstock of Britain and Peter Burleigh of the US raised
>the issue of Von Sponeck among other matters discussed in their 25-minute
>meeting with Annan, Eckhard said.
>Von Sponeck, who was on his way to Baghdad Friday, has been criticised
>privately by the British and openly by the US, in part because of his
>opposition to the stringent sanctions imposed on Iraq after its troops
>invaded Kuwait in August 1990.
>He is the fifth UN coordinator in three years of the ``oil-for-food''
>programme under which Iraq is allowed to sell $5.26 billion worth of oil
>over six months to buy food, medicine and other supplies despite the
>US State Department spokesman James Rubin twice this week accused Von
>Sponeck of overstepping his mandate, raising questions about how much longer
>the envoy would be in his post. But UN diplomats said they believed Rubin
>had put Annan on the spot and had forced him to extend Von Sponeck in his
>post for a year on Tuesday as well as backing the German publicly.
>Nevertheless, they said that pressure from the US might convince Von
>Sponeck, who has the support of France as well as Germany, to resign by the
>end of 2000.
>Rubin, in answer to questions at his regular Washington briefing Friday,
>said, ``We do not believe it is appropriate for a UN official, whatever
>private views he's entitled to have, to challenge the position the United
>Nations Security Council has taken about the wisdom of the sanctions
>Rubin charged that Von Sponeck had allowed the Iraqi government to fill
>warehouses with food and medicine that should have been distributed to the
>Iraqi people under the terms of the humanitarian programme.
>Diplomats said Von Sponeck was told earlier in the week not to state his
>opinion on sanctions publicly, as he did on one occasion. He also had talks
>with American and British officials in an apparently unsuccessful effort to
>defuse the situation.
>The oil-for-food programme, managed by the Security Council, which has to
>approve nearly all goods going to Iraq, has often been criticised by its
>administrators as being too little to lighten the impact of sanctions on
>ordinary Iraqis.
>Von Sponeck's predecessor, Denis Halliday of Ireland, was a frequent critic
>of the sanctions as well as the programme, which will not be repaired until
>the Security Council finishes its current discussion on easing the
>Ambassadors from the US, Britain, France, Russia and China, permanent
>Council members with veto rights, met on Friday for the first time in six
>weeks to wrestle with a potential resolution that would suspend the
>embargoes if Iraq complied with some key disarmament demands.
>Accounting for Iraq's nuclear, chemical, biological and ballistic missile
>programmes is a key requirement for the eventual lifting of the
>For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service
>For comments and feedback send Email
>Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. 1999.

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